Hundreds Pack Hearing to Save Rock Run and Loyalsock State Forest from Fracking
Last night, over 400 people packed a hearing in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, to let both the gas drilling industry and state authorities know that the people are drawing a line in the sand when it comes to Anadarko’s plans to frack a sacred place — Rock Run, in the Loyalsock State Forest — to bits.
The PA Department of Conservation of Natural Resources (DCNR), which ran the show last night, acknowledged that the short-term and cumulative impacts of the planned shale gas development in the exceptionally wild and beautiful Loyalsock State Forest would be “substantial.” But DCNR claims to not have the power to stop Anadarko, only to mitigate the destruction.
The people testifying powerfully for hours last night absolutely want to stop Anadarko. Many believe they do have the power to drive Anadarko away from this gem, with its pristine waters, uninterrupted viewsheds, waterfalls and wildlife. RDA, a grassroots shale gas resistance group based in Williamsport, was a prime mover behind the large turnout, supported by allies including Shale Justice, Marcellus Earth First, Protecting Our Waters, PennEnvironment, and many grassroots groups. The Sierra Club, League of Women Voters, State Representative Mirabito, and the Audubon Society all came out against fracking in the Loyalsock. All affirmed RDA’s message to DCNR: “Keep Drillers Out. Do Your Job. Keep It Wild!”
DCNR revealed that the planned industrial assault on the Loyalsock, including its remote and “semi-primitive” areas, would include 26 well pads, 34 miles of pipeline, and about 15 miles each of new roads and “improved” roads throughout sensitive and treasured forest. DCNR promised the public there would be no open fracking waste pits, but said nothing about flaring, and horrified the crowd with a map showing four large planned compressor stations within the Loyalsock State Forest.
While the ocean of people packed into the Lycoming College auditorium last night abounded with residents from Lycoming and nearby counties, people also came from Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and rural areas across the state — Bradford County in the northeast, Blair County to the south, and more — to testify against any fracking in the forest. Passions ran high. Not one Pennsylvanian spoke in favor of fracking the forest. Neither Anadarko representatives nor any other gas drilling industry representatives showed their face in public or uttered a word at the hearing.
To learn more, and to join in a “Keep it Wild” hike on June 29th in the Loyalsock State Forest, visit http://www.keepitwildRDA.org or call 570-494-7583.
We will publish photographs and testimony from last night’s hearing in the near future. Here is one set of arguments and images from philosophy professor Wendy Lynne Lee, previously published on Raging Chicken press, making the case:
by Wendy Lee • May 28, 2013
Comments for DCNR Hearing Concerning Anadarko Petroleum’s Permit Application to Frack Loyalsock State Forest, Lycoming College, Wendle Hall, 4-6PM, 6.3.13